A day in the life of pharmacist Suzanne August, Mossel Bay

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Q: What advice would you give to Pharmacy students?

I would encourage them to work in a pharmacy from their first year as a Pharmacy student. This will help them to learn what to focus on during their studies. Observe the customers and their needs. This will all help inunderstanding their role as a pharmacist. 

Q: How do you deal with irritable customers?

That is a challenging part of being a pharmacist. I have learned to always let the customer know that I am willing to listen to their problem and will do my utmost best to come up with a solution. It is best to apologise and look for a solution, even if the customer is in the wrong. 

Q: What contributes to a great working day for you?

  1. If a patient comes back with positive feedback and you know you have made their life a bit easier – that is a good day! 
  2. My day is great if all the staff are motivated and in a good mood. A positive vibe goes a long way. 
  3. Being spoiled with coffee and cake in the pharmacy is always nice!

Q: What are 3 health tips we can all use?

  1. Emotional wellbeing is very important. Accept and acknowledge your feelings. Self-care is important.
  2. Sleep enough! Binge-watching TV shows is developing into a problem of constant fatigue and lack of concentration. Be disciplined with your screen time and set limits.
  3. Remember to do screening tests for the whole family.

Q: How did you personally manage at the height of Covid?

I made a point not to listen to fake news and to stick to facts and science. I tried to filter out all the sensation around Covid on social media. At the pharmacy we made sure not to engage in talks about mass hysteria and false information. I also stayed updated with new treatment guidelines for Covid. That all helped me to have a sense of control over the situation we were all in. I focused on helping our customers during that difficult time and making the pharmacy a safe and friendly place to visit.

Q: What items should be in every first aid kit?

Burnshield is number one on my list. Antihistamine, something for diarrhoea, nausea, pain and fever. Rehydration therapy is important. A cold and flu remedy and wound care items. Also, eye drops and an eye bath can come in handy.

Q: What should we know about medication safety?

The dosage of any medication is extremely important. Take care to take the correct amount of your medicine. That can make all the difference. Make sure you only use medicine that was tested and approved by a medicine council.

Q: What advice can you give to people who dislike taking medication? 

I will make sure that they understand why they need the medication. I will counsel them on the side-effects as well as the benefits of taking the medicine. If they have all the facts, I will leave the decision in their hands. Medication is not your enemy.


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